How To Boil Hot Dogs In Broth, Water, And Beer

There are so many methods to choose from when it comes to preparing hot dogs, from grilling or frying to cooking them (and their buns) in the air fryer. But one of the quickest and most foolproof techniques has to be simply boiling hot dogs in water, a surefire way to get that nostalgic New York City street snack style at home.

While grilling provides those appetizing char marks, boiling remains popular for the plump, juicy texture it produces. It's a method that only requires a small pot with some hot water, and takes a mere five minutes to heat the hot dogs through for effortless results. Although hot dogs may have a more gentle, subtler taste when boiled in water as opposed to being grilled or cooked over flame, this is also a plus for some people, since it gives any toppings or condiments the chance to shine. Plus, boiling hot dogs also brings the best 'snap' when you take a bite.

But if you want to keep the moist, succulent texture that boiling in water offers, whilst also infusing the hot dogs with heaps more flavor, then try switching up the liquids. Using beer or broth to boil hot dogs is a likewise fast method that helps to bring out the rich, meaty flavors in the meat, and the ingredients can easily be customized to your tastes.

Boil hot dogs in broth for a juicy, flavorful result

Since most store-bought hot dogs are already cooked, the boiling method is really just about heating them up rather than actually cooking them from-scratch. The casings of hot dogs are permeable (unless they're skinless, in which case the cellulose skin is removed before they're packaged). That means that flavors can permeate the meat during cooking, as well as allowing the insides of the hot dogs to expand when boiled in liquid so that they become plump and juicy. Using broth rather than water is an easy way to ramp up the flavor and retain succulence.

To boil hot dogs in broth, heat the liquid in a pan until it reaches a rolling boil, add the hot dogs, and simmer for around five minutes until they're heated through. If you're making a larger batch, you can also use flavorful broth to cook the hot dogs more slowly (for roughly an hour) in a Crockpot, which is also useful for keeping them warm when feeding a crowd.

The best type of broth to use will depend on your taste preference, as well as the ingredients in the hot dogs themselves. Beef, chicken, and vegetable broth all work well, and you can add additional herbs, spices, or aromatics such as onion to the liquid if you want to bring out even more flavor. Try a low-sodium broth if you're worried about the taste being overly salty.

Use a light lager for succulent, adult-friendly hot dogs

Hot dogs and beer are natural partners, and boiling hot dogs in beer vs water can be a real flavor revelation. While beef or chicken broth increases the meaty flavors in hot dogs, cooking them in beer adds mellow, complementary flavors while keeping the frankfurters plump and juicy. The taste also goes especially well with toppings such as onions or mustard.

To boil hot dogs in beer, add around two or three cansĀ to a pan, bring it to a boil, and then simmer uncovered for around five minutes or until heated through, before draining and serving. While different beers add different flavors, a lighter lager-style tends to produce less bitter results than something like a heftier, hop-heavy IPA or a sturdy stout.

It's worth bearing in mind that cooking with booze doesn't mean all of the alcohol burns off, contrary to popular belief, so it's probably best to keep the beer-boiled dogs as a treat for the adults. But for your next game day feast or cookout, they're sure to be a hit. And if you can't decide between beer or broth, then you could even try combining the two for the best of both worlds. Just try adding a couple of beef or chickenĀ bouillon cubes to the beer as it heats up for the plumpest, most flavorsome hot dogs imaginable.